What the bloggers say: 

Books of All Kinds, 5/9/19:
“Engaging, fascinating, and absorbing...Chevalier brings fact and fiction together effortlessly”

Trip Fiction, 2/9/19:
“As always, the author’s writing is eloquent, engaging and wonderfully observant of era and place”

Random Things Through My Letterbox, 5/9/19:
“Winchester Cathedral is an evocative and quite sensual setting for this bold, intelligent and quite wonderful novel”

Mrs Bloggs Books, 4/9/19:
“This endearing, wonderful novel was a joy to read”

em_digs_books, 5/9/19:
“It’s a charmer”


“Chevalier creates a convincing picture of the period. Most impressive are the portraits of individual women...who either pursue their freedom in small acts of disobedience, or quietly stitch their loss into comfort and beauty for generations to come.”


“...a subtle, delicate portrayal of a life of quiet power. The prose is stunning without any showboating; the historical detail beautifully interwoven with a light touch, and the cumulative effect is more powerful than immediately evident. This novel will stay with you for a long time, and may be Chevalier’s best yet.”

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“I was immediately captivated by Chevalier's ability to tell a big story while focusing on the small things that make characters memorable and also relatable.”

“Chevalier has done a masterful job of depicting the circumstances of a generation of women we seldom think about.”

“With the manners and chortle-inducing humor that would make Jane Austen proud...”

“...a buoyant tale about the path to acceptance and joy – beginning, like all journeys, with one brave step”

“It’s a time and a place that is perfectly suited to Chevalier’s meticulous scene-setting, gentle pacing and gimlet eye for hidden hurts and secret longings.”

“a novel that movingly examines hidden depths beneath quiet exteriors”

“Writing with quiet but devastating empathy, Tracy Chevalier pinpoints Violet’s predicament as a single woman, her unexpected emotional crisis and her struggle to give her life depth and meaning. I loved it.”
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“A fascinating novel...Chevalier...has a well-known gift for immersing herself in a subject. Her research here is so thorough and so heart-felt that she manages to make the ancient art of embroidery interesting...Chevalier has such a sure eye for detail, whether she is describing the timeless loveliness of the cathedral or the dismal interior of a 1930s boarding house. Reading this is deeply pleasurable and the ending made me cry.”
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“A compelling portrait of women not lost but thriving against the odds”
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